It’s the taking part – reflections from our Awards Judging Partners

As our first ever Apps for Good Awards Judging Partner, Capgemini shortlisted hundreds of entries to help us find our 18 Finalists. We’ll be revealing these Finalists on our website on 28th May. Before that why not read on to hear what Capgemini’s Director, Schools Outreach Programme, Michelle Perkins learned during the shortlisting process.

Being without doubt the slowest runner in the whole school, I truly hated hearing some misguided adult tell my little self that it was the “taking part that mattered”!  It most certainly was not!

Yet, am I now that misguided adult? Eek! I hope not. But last week I had a bit of an epiphany thanks to Apps for Good. And I’m now all about the taking part.

Along with colleagues, clients and partners I was lucky enough to support Capgemini to work with Apps for Good as their first Judging Partner for the Apps for Good Awards 2015.  From Inverness to London (and out to Cardiff & Merthyr Tydfil) we ran a number of events to assess the 700+ student entries in  Apps for Good’s national competition in which the winners have their apps launched on to the market.

Staff from Capgemini offices across the UK shortlisted Apps for Good Awards entries
Staff from Capgemini offices across the UK shortlisted Apps for Good Awards entries

Young people can sometimes be seen as too celebrity or games focused and too keen on the X Factor quick win culture. Of course, many are interested in the goings on of the Kardashians (can you blame them – come on, you couldn’t make it up!). But what struck me was the sheer variety of topics they covered from maths, books, money, pets, charities, jobs, treasure hunting, politics, team working, sport, nutrition and the list seriously could go on.  Not to mention the sense of humour displayed in some entries that discussed parents, siblings, homework and so much more.

If you honestly believe that young people only care about the Kardashians and Minecraft, you’re not listening enough!

Over 700 app ideas were reviewed during the shortlisting process
Over 700 app ideas were reviewed during the shortlisting process

So, back to the taking part. What’s stayed with me into this week has been the range of skills that the programme showcases. Using app development as a core activity, students are exposed to market research, communications (visual and written), budgeting, innovation, teamwork, analysing data, film-making (I saw a definite junior Stephen Spielberg team) and creativity. These are the employability skills British business needs and, as an assessor, I saw them come to life.

Thanks to their teachers (schools and parents) I also saw a real pride in their work and their schools. It was terrific!

Thank you to the Apps for Good team and the 100 Capgemini employees, clients and partners who assessed all these great entries! Now we’re all looking forward to seeing the Finalist teams at the Barbican on 18 June.

You can find out more about Apps for Good here. If you’re interested in delivering the course you can already join to teach Apps for Good in 2015/16, just click here for more info.